Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says the Lagos-Ibadan ongoing standard gauge rail project valued at $2 billion would be completed and ready for use from April 2020.
The minister, who said this during the monthly inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan project at the weekend, explained, “The initial contract was from Ebute Metta, but because the Federal Government wanted it to end at the seaports, so it had to be extended to facilitate the movement of goods and services out of the seaport and to decongest trailer and container gridlock.”
He said the focus would no longer be on the track but on the completion of the stations and communication and signal.
According to him, “We will be out of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor tlatest by April 2020. We are no longer giving ourselves the time, the contractors are the ones giving us the time.”
The contractors can get to Ebute Meta soon, but getting there without getting to Apapa will not achieve much because the gridlock need to be cleared and the easiest way to do it is to get the track to the seaport, he said.
That way, cargoes will be loaded to wagons and taken to Ibadan, and thank God we have got contract for Ibadan-Kano, as soon as we get the money, we will start work and the gridlock will be cleared, he said.
The CCECC contractors are willing to complete the stations but the equipment has not arrived from China, and the advice is that they should get some things from Nigeria, he said.
”Before they wanted to import glasses and doors as if we don’t have in here, the pressure we are putting is now making them buy the glasses and doors in Nigeria and they are installing them which will quicken the process. They are still expecting pipes and other things and they requested that we give them one or two months to complete the stations.
“We don’t have enough coaches and locomotives but we will start with as many as we can take pending when the 20 locomotives that we imported arrive. They will arrive end of December or latest second week in January, 2020,” he said.